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Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: A promising college student becomes bent on seeking revenge after a shocking act of violence is committed on her. Descent is a film that unnervingly tackles some of the country's most taboo subjects. (City Lights Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. It's been a while since we saw a demagogic feminist exploitation revenge drama, and Descent, while top-heavy with ''agenda,'' is shrewdly done.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    70
    Hard to watch but essential to see, Descent is at once realistic and rhetorical, and driven throughout by righteous anger that comes from an honest place.
  3. 70
    It's a lot like a '70s exploitation movie, with its determination to seduce and shock the viewer with alternating currents of electrical stimulus, and its weird combination of arty arch-decadence and neo-Victorian moralizing.
  4. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    50
    Pic's message is the one thing that's made clear: A victim can sink lower than her predator. Whether receiving that message justifies the cost of watching Descent is another question.
  5. 38
    Too elliptical to be convincing.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    30
    Depending on your revenge story preferences, the brutally pretentious Descent is either a payback flick with an agonizingly formless middle, or a soul-darkening head trip bracketed by a crude vengeance tale. Mostly, though, it's indie provocation trapped between shock and blah.
  7. 12
    Even worse than the hacky chick revenge fantasy now showing on channel 186 of your box.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. ChadS.
    Feb 14, 2008
    4
    French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard once said that "cinema history is the history of boys photographing girls." Where this filmmaker is French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard once said that "cinema history is the history of boys photographing girls." Where this filmmaker is coming from, one can only stare saucer-eyed with begrudging admiration, but the Godard quote isn't a bad place to start, as we watch Maya(Rosario Dawson) anally probe Jared(Chad Faust). Ready or not, the American cinema now has a sexual provocateur of its very own, a female filmmaker cut from the same mold as France's Catherine Breillat, whose fearless use of graphic sex may result in high-brow "adult" films such as "Romance" and "Fat Girl", rather than high-minded schlock like "Descent". First, the film puts us to sleep with its character-driven narrative, and then jars us awake by the unrepentant brutality of Maya's revenge plan. David Slade's "Hard Candy" makes the same mistake. When the tables are turned; the woman wins, but she loses the audience's sympathy. Arguably, even a pedophile, even a rapist, doesn't deserve to be tortured. Expand
  2. RobbyT.
    Feb 6, 2008
    2
    This movie feels like it was made by an amateur lesbian director who needs to ease up on the pills. See Hard Candy instead.

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